A new study published in the Journal of Family issues takes a close look at Tiger Mother parenting in China and found that it’s not working. The study is believed to be the first empirical measure of this style of parenting in China, and in the sample of 589 Chinese adolescents who participated, controlling, punitive behavior didn’t reap the benefits some parents say they’ve seen.
The results instead showed that these middle and high school students struggled with self-esteem issues, problem behavior, and depressive symptoms. The study’s outcome mirrors similar studies that measured impacts of Tiger Mother parenting on Western adolescents.
What are the best ways to motivate children to succeed? Where is the line between support and monitoring vs. punitive parenting? What implications does this study have for parents in the U.S.?
Cixin Wang, Ph.D, Assistant Professor in school psychology at the University of California, Riverside